GSD concerned that Government capital spending is out of control
The GSD has expressed concern that Government capital spending is ‘out of control’ and at the same time refuses to answer questions as to where the money is coming from to fund public projects.
The GSD last year cautioned the Government on the pace of capital spending and urged it to be responsible and think beyond the electoral cycle or risk destabilising Gibraltar’s public finances at a critical point before Brexit.
“It is now evident that with target dates of completion in 2019 all caution has been thrown to the wind at the taxpayers’ expense,” the Opposition said in a statement yesterday evening.
Flagging the schools project as well as new affordable housing developments, a national theatre and parking at Grand Parade, the sewage treatment plant and the university accommodation block the GSD said these would in all probability use the entire £300 million borrowed on mortgaging the housing estates in 2016.
“Gibraltar has been turned into a Government construction site at huge public expense,” the GSD said.
The shadow Minister for Public Finance Roy Clinton said: “Yesterday’s announcement that just Bayside and Westside will cost £52.2 million is indeed an eye opener.”
He explained that the Government has in Parliament so far refused to give information on the projected cost of the new schools project and this was not in the 2017/18 estimates.
“If the other six schools are to be built at a conservative cost of say £15 million each then the total spend would be £142.2 million,” he said.
“The Government needs to explain to us all where the money is coming from for these new schools.”
“We still do not know if the GFA have signed the contract to purchase the Victoria Stadium and paid the £10 million due by 31 March 2018 which is meant to pay for the Island Games stadiums.”
“The Government is quick to spend money it does not have and make big announcements to suit its political purposes,” Mr Clinton said.
“I trust the Chief Minister’s legacy will not be a note left for us at Treasury saying ‘sorry spent all the money and you owe £1.4 billion’”.